As a Bengal fan, I am worried about the receiver position. Can anyone step up and become the number two guy? There are a multitude of candidates, Armon Binns, Brandon Tate, Jermaine Gresham, and perhaps Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu later on in the season. Quarterback Andy Dalton does not share my doubt:
Dalton has been high on this group of receivers for the entire off-season. Of course, he would not say if he had any doubts. Still, it is huge that Dalton appears to have the confidence needed to go to other receivers besides A.J. Green. Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese also likes what he has seen from the receivers thus far:
"The guys we have, I wouldn’t want anyone else, Dalton said. "They’ve come in and worked real hard and done everything they’ve been asked to do. They’ve learned on the fly. They have such a good understanding that I’m confident of everything they’ve done."
"They're a conscientious group of young guys. It's fun to be around these guys," Zampese says. "When you ask them something, they say, 'What do you think about this? Let's do that.' Or they ask you. And that's not always the case. It’s the case now and we're really happy about it."
There have also been questions about whether Dalton can continue to improve or if he will endure a sophomore slump. Zampese thinks those criticizing Dalton are completely wrong:
Those are the guys that had him as a backup and are trying to improve their positions," Zampese said. "He's not a three- or four-year starter that maxed out in college and that's it. This is a guy that has some skills and mental ability that we think can last a long time in this league."
"For us to play really good teams like that every year, twice a year, and for this team and this offense and everybody to get to where we want to be, we've got to find ways to beat those teams," Dalton says.
The coaches trusting in Dalton and Dalton trusting in his receivers will go a long way in making sure that the Bengals go at least 2-2 against the Ravens and Steelers this season. The coaches seem to trust Dalton. There is a reason why he was rumored to be the Bengals top choice for quarterback in last years draft. Zampese knows that Dalton is trustworthy on and off the field:
"Accountability through the roof," Zampese says.
That just about sums it up.